Sometimes reality just doesn’t measure up. We go into situations and experiences with some idea as to the outcome or value we hope to gain. Often, we leave disappointed.
It raises an important question. Were our expectations too high, or was the experience below standard? It’s a tough one too answer. In order to cope with reality, we tend to favour the one over the other. This favouritism usually leans towards the side of underwhelming performance. It did not meet my expectation because…
Intuitively, we understand that unrealistic expectations can artificially raise the bar to unachievable heights resulting in the same disappointment. (Spoiler alerts come to mind. no-one wants to go watch a movie after being told it was mind-blowing. Your mind is pre-blown.)
The best way to ensure accurate performance management is to first be realistic about what is achievable and use this as the benchmark. If the performance does not measure up, it’s a performance problem. If it blows us away, it’s just that good.
Fix expectations before anything else. If the yardstick is broken, nothing measures up.